On the occasion of the 2023 French Week celebrations, scheduled to take place in Lagos from November 17th –24th, Alh. Usman Mohammed, the President of the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke to the press about the relationship between France and Nigeria and the significance of the French week celebration.
He stated that “France’s business and economic interest has continued to grow in Nigeria. Nigeria is France’s leading trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth-largest in Africa, behind Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Today, Nigeria accounts for about 20% of France’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa, amounting to an estimate of €3.53 billion.
The French government through its development agencies are financing various projects across the country in line with Sustainable Goals Agenda (SDG’s). Late last year; The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) signed a €25 million grant agreement for the Northern Corridor project co-financed by the European Union for power generation, also currently working with the Federal government of Nigeria to fund the creative sector with about 100 million Euros.
French companies in Nigeria also remained committed to doing business and impacting the environment. We see brands like TotalEnergies impact projects covering power, healthcare, education, etc. with huge investment in the upstream sector of the Nigerian economy, Fanmilk (Danone) with huge investments in backward integration for the production of dairy milk for their products and the commissioning of its modern dairy farm in Odeda, Ogun State, Schneider Electric Nigeria is empowering local communities by promoting local sustainability initiatives and educational support, SPIE oil and gas training programmes for young Nigerians in various skill areas, and Access Bank Nigeria now with a functioning office in Paris with initiatives to ensure flow of economic activities between both countries.”
Alh. Usman Mohammed also stressed that the efforts and activities of the other economic players like, Business France; leading French business delegations to Nigeria in various sectors for prospection, the Economic Department of the Embassy, and the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry which have supported the growth of French-Nigeria business relations in Nigeria.
The President didn’t fail to mention the impact being made by the Chamber in the promotion of the France-Nigeria business relationship. He recounted the high-impact initiatives being carried out by the Chamber, which included trade missions to France, high-level networking events, meetings with key government agencies, and support for the Chamber’s start-ups.
The French week starting on the 17th of November with the global Beaujolais event, will have among it’s events line up , a high-powered business forum with the presence of the French Minister of Foreign Trade and French Nationals Abroad, Mr Olivier Becht, The Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy of Nigeria, Mr Wale Edun. There will also be a start-up conference and pitch tournament, a job fair and the first Franco-Nigerian Business awards.
The Sponsors of the French week are; Headline Sponsor: Access Bank PLC; Premium Sponsor: GMT Nigeria Limited, SPIE Oil & Gas Services, Schneider Electric, JCDecaux, TotalEnergies, Fanmik Nigeria (Danone), Africa Global Logistics, Tincan Island Container Terminal, CFAO, Mazars in Nigeria, YOA Insurance Brokers, Stren & Blan Partners, New Energy Services Company Limited, Pernod Ricard, Air France-KLM; Gold Sponsors: BOURBON, Clina-Lancet Laboratories Nigeria, Deloitte; Silver Sponsors: Swiss Pharma Limited, AELEX, Bolamark Engineering Limited, Ize Matebese, International SOS, Ample System Projects Limited; Partners; French Treasury in Nigeria, Business France, French Tech Lagos, Lagos Continental, Alliance Française de Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, The Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd, Vines By Rosa Bordeaux.